, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 487-507
Date: 27 Jan 2011

Benefits of Segregation for White Communities: A Review of the Literature and Directions for Future Research

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Abstract

The relationship between racial residential segregation and African-American crime rates has thoroughly been explored within the literature on race and crime. However, predictions are mixed when addressing the relationship between racial residential segregation and white crime. According to Massey (2001), whites should be expected to benefit from segregation. This paper explores the research and the literature related to racial residential segregation and crime from the perspective of white advantage. Specifically, it is postulated that racial residential segregation may benefit whites economically, politically, and culturally via several key pathways: by removing them from residential areas of concentrated disadvantage, by distancing them from criminogenic subcultures and areas of higher victimization, and by maintaining political stability and/or reinvestment in white neighborhoods. The methods by which these relationships may be empirically tested are discussed. We further explore different measures of racial segregation, as well as potential intervening variables that may mediate the relationship between racial residential segregation and crime, and discuss the benefits and implications for their inclusion in future research.